The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Socializing as Christians

It is obvious, that the claims of society can never be allowed to go so far as to interfere with and prejudice the claims of religion at the very time of social intercourse. In other words, we should always so conduct, when we mingle socially with our fellow men, that we may be known as religious persons, not merely by special acts of religion, but in our general manner. And it seems to us, that this desirable result may be secured, in consistency with a suitable regard to modesty of deportment; Men generally possess a prompt and almost instinctive power of interpretation on the subject of moral and religious character. If we truly possess religion, they will see it and know it. There is a calmness and propriety of manners on the part of truly holy persons; a placidity of countenance; a freedom from exaggeration and over-urgency; a modesty, and a sincere good-will to others, whatever may be their characters; a conscientious regard for truth and justice; a forbearance under ill-treatment and injury; a seriousness which is the opposite of foolish talking and jesting; an interest in whatever has relation to the claims of virtue and religion, which, taken together, and aided perhaps by other indications not less favorable, furnish significant DATA to those who behold them; and which cannot fail to stamp the character as religious without the formality of a specific declaration.

— from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment